Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 48.7, a decrease from the August index of 50.

Elfa Sept 2022 MCI, Industry Today

Washington, DC – The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the September 2022 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. The index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $900 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 48.7, a decrease from the August index of 50.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Bruce J. Winter, President, FSG Capital, Inc., said, “The Fed has made it crystal clear that bringing inflation back to target is its number one goal. More increases to the Fed funds rate are coming, as is quantitative tightening to the tune of $95 billion per month. Highly leveraged participants in our industry will pay the price, as well as highly leveraged borrowers/lessees.  While the definition of a true recession is being hotly debated, there is little doubt that more challenging times are ahead and the hopes of a ‘soft landing’ are much less likely.”  

September 2022 Survey Results:

The overall MCI-EFI is 48.7, a decrease from the August index of 50.

  • When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 3.6% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, a decrease from 14.8% in August. 75% believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 51.9% the previous month. 21.4% believe business conditions will worsen, a decrease from 33.3% in August.
  • 10.7% of the survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, an increase from 7.7% in August. 71.4% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, a decrease from 76.9% the previous month. 17.9% believe demand will decline, up from 15.4% in August.
  • 14.3% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 7.4% in August. 71.4% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, a decrease from 85.2% last month. 14.3% expect “less” access to capital, up from 7.4% the previous month.
  • When asked, 28.6% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, up from 25.9% in August. 64.3% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 74.1% last month. 7.1% expect to hire fewer employees, up from none in August.
  • 7.1% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” an increase from none the previous month. 71.4% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 85.2% in August. 21.4% evaluate it as “poor,” an increase from 14.8% last month.
  • 7.1% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a decrease from 11.1% in August. 39.3% indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, a decrease from 51.9% last month. 53.6% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 37% the previous month.
  • In September 28.6% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, down from 29.6% the previous month. 71.4% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, up from 70.4% in August. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.

ABOUT THE MCI

Why an MCI-EFI?

Confidence in the U.S. economy and the capital markets is a critical driver to the equipment finance industry. Throughout history, when confidence increases, consumers and businesses are more apt to acquire more consumer goods, equipment, and durables, and invest at prevailing prices. When confidence decreases, spending and risk-taking tend to fall. Investors are said to be confident when the news about the future is good and stock prices are rising.

Who participates in the MCI-EFI?

The respondents are comprised of a wide cross-section of industry executives, including large-ticket, middle-market and small-ticket banks, independents, and captive equipment finance companies. The MCI-EFI uses the same pool of 50 organization leaders to respond monthly to ensure the survey’s integrity. Since the same organizations provide the data from month to month, the results constitute a consistent barometer of the industry’s confidence.

How is the MCI-EFI designed?

The survey consists of seven questions and an area for comments, asking the respondents’ opinions about the following:

  1. Current business conditions
  2. Expected product demand over the next four months
  3. Access to capital over the next four months
  4. Future employment conditions
  5. Evaluation of the current U.S. economy
  6. U.S. economic conditions over the next six months
  7. Business development spending expectations
  8. Open-ended question for comment

How may I access the MCI-EFI?

Survey results are posted on the Foundation website, https://www.leasefoundation.org/industry-resources/monthly-confidence-index/, included in the Foundation Forecast eNewsletter, and included in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.

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ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that propels the equipment finance sector—and its people—forward through industry-specific knowledge, intelligence, and programs that contribute to industry innovation, individual careers, and the overall betterment of the equipment leasing and finance industry. The Foundation is funded through charitable individual and corporate donations. Learn more at www.leasefoundation.org.

Media Contact: Charlie Visconage, cvisconage@leasefoundation.org

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